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Chairshot Classics: WWE SummerSlam 2004

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SummerSlam 2004 gives us a new era of Superstars at the top. We see Randy Orton take on The World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Benoit. The Undertaker attempts to dethrone the WWE Champion, John “Bradshaw” Layfield. Edge, Batista, Chris Jericho and so much more in this edition of Chairshot Classics.

The days of Steve Austin and The Rock on top seem to be behind us at this point in WWE history. Goldberg is gone. Even last years top guy, Brock Lesnar is pursuing an NFL career. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a jam packed house though, with 17,640 in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is actually up a little from last year but that is due to arena size. The PPV buy is right at the same number as last year, 415K. The main sponsor for this show is the same as last year, Stacker 2, but this time they are pushing their Yellow Jacket Stingers product. This is crazy that these speed-like diet pills were a featured sponsor a lot around this era. It’s time to “let the games begin” and see what this show has to offer.

The PPV opens with a package that shows us various Superstars competing in Olympic-like games. This is because the Summer Olympics were going on at this time in Athens, Greece. The video leads right into the next one and we see Randy Orton saying that he plans to become the youngest champion in WWE history when he beats Chris Benoit. More on this match later. The package even previews The Women’s Dodgeball Tournament. This is part of the WWE reality TV based  Diva Search. The video highlights the main matches on the card before we enter the arena for the dual branded (RAW/SmackDown) Summerlam 2004. The RAW announce team of  Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomes us to the sold-out arena and introduces us to the SmackDown crew of Tazz and Michael Cole. Tazz and Cole are at ringside and that leaves the RAW guys on the entrance ramp for the second year in a row. I would definitely be willing to bet that JR hated this, as it would be harder to call matches from a distance. And just like that the first match is about to begin.

The men from Dudleyville enter first. The Dudley Boyz, Bubba Ray and D-Von are joined by their cousin and Cruiserweight Champion, Spike. Before the next team enters we see a clip of The Dudley family putting Rey Mysterio through a table. The reason that I mention this is that is wasn’t done in the normal “3D” method, but rather a Coup De Grace from Spike. The WWE Tag Team Champions, Paul London and Billy Kidman enter next and are joined by Mysterio. For those that aren’t familiar with Kidman I suggest you check out some of his Cruiserweight stuff from the WCW heydays. He was a member of Raven’s Flock and was one of my favorite members of that legendary Cruiserweight division of WCW past. London would go on to to be a WWE Cruiserweight Champion and find some success in the Indies afterward. Most notably a run in Pro Wrestling Guerilla with El Generico as PWG Tag Champs. El Generico is current WWE Superstar Sami Zayne.

The men of the mic for the first match are Tazz and Cole. We get D-Von and Kidman in the ring first, and after Kidman reverses D-Von’s whip to the corner, with a head scissors takedown, he is in control. The move gets the first pop and after an armdrag, Kidman is quick to try a cover. He only gets a two count, so he tags in London. The Tag Champs hit a double back elbow and London is soon attempting another pin, after an assisted standing moonsault from Kidman. London shows he’s got the cruiser moves here, hitting some big dropkicks and a cool dropsault off the top turnbuckle. Bubba slows him with the interference, and this allows D-Von to flatten London with a clothesline. D-Von is quick with the cover now and it takes a Mysterio interference to stop the count. Spike is tagged in and enters off the top rope by delivering a dropsault, or Coup De Grace, into the chest of London. After Spike works London for a bit, its Bubba’s turn to tag in. As soon as he enters he hits London with quite a suplex. When D-Von re-enters he applies the headlock and the crowd is cheering for the hot tag. London escapes with some elbows to the midsection, but when he comes off the ropes he is met with a brutal powerslam from D-Von. D-Von goes for the cover and it is Kidman that enters to break it up this time. Bubba enters again, and this is when London starts to rally. D-Von is sent off the apron when London ducks under Bubba’s clothesline and he instead connects with his partner. London hits an enziguri and the crowd is back in the fight with him. Mysterio starts the clap to power, but Spike tags in and grabs London’s foot. He manages to kick free and tag in Mysterio. This sends the crowd into a frenzy as this is what the build of the matches story is centered around.

Rey makes quick work of the smallest Dudley and is quick to go for a pin after he “Drops a Dime”. This is Rey’s version of a springboard leg drop if you were curious. Spike kicks out and Rey soon puts him on the top turnbuckle. He brings Spike right back to the mat with a jumping hurricanrana that the crowd reacts nicely too. Bubba tries to come to the rescue but his attempt is rewarded with a springboard seated senton. D-Von is in next and tries to slam Mysterio, but it is reversed with a DDT and the crowd is on their toes. Kidman tags in and enters from the top. He hits the standing, but dazed, Spike Dudley with a back elbow. This was a cool spot and the elbow looks like it planted firmly on Spike’s jaw. Bubba and D-Von re-enter the ring but are laid out by Kidman as fast as they entered. He hits Spike with the BK-Bomb, a powerbomb variant, but D-Von is there to break up the cover. At this point all men are in the ring, but the Tag Team Champs knock Bubba And D-Von out with dropkicks. London goes airborne when he leaps off Kidman’s back over the top ropes to hit Bubba with a suicide hilo. The 619 is delivered to Spike, and Kidman follows Mysterio’s finish with his own, the Shooting Star Press. It seems as though the match is over when Kidman goes for the cover but D-Von pulls him from the ring on the count of two. Mysterio jumps to the outside to assist Kidman but D-Von moves and Rey hits the security wall. D-Von then lays London out with a clothesline before he returns to the ring with Kidman. A “3D” is next for Kidman and this leads to Spike making the cover and getting the three. The match was an entertaining opener and the build-up to Mysterio/Spike was well done. I enjoyed the match and I think most wrestling fans would. Check this one out. Match Time: 8:06


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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Chairshot Classics

Taking Over: Greg DeMarco’s Look at WWE NXT Takeover Fatal 4-Way (9/11/14)

“Taking Over” continues as we see how Takeover Fatal 4-Way (9/11/14) holds up today!

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WWE NXT Takeover Fatal 4-Way Neville Tyson Kidd Tyler Breeze Sami Zayn

Greg DeMarco takes a look back at the second NXT Takeover in the first edition of “Taking Over” as we march towards WWE NXT Takeover XXV!

WWE NXT Takeover is turning 25 on June 1! Well, sort of… On June 1, WWE NXT will present the 25th Takeover event, a stand-alone show from Connecticut–which I wouldn’t call the heart of WWE, but the brain. I am taking a look back at the first 24 to see just how far we’ve come. Join me for “Taking Over,” my look back at the first 24 Takeover events.

Prior editions:

NXT Takeover Fatal 4 Way
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentary Team: Tom Phillips, Renee Young, and Byron Saxton

  • NXT Tag Team Championship: Lucha Dragons beat The Ascension to win the championships – A good match, but not great. It’s a far cry from what the Takeover opening tag team match would become. Big pop for the finish, though.
  • Baron Corbin beat CJ Parker – This was back when I hated Baron Corbin. Wait, that was yesterday. Anyway, this is a squash to elevate Baron Corbin, even though we didn’t get a true entrance for Corbin. Corbin’s hair didn’t look terribl ehere, in fact it looked better than CJ’s. According to commentary, this was Corbin’s NXT debut. Huge pop for the End Of Days. In fact, Crbin was crazy over here.
  • Hair vs. Hair Match – Sylvester Lefort vs. Enzo Amore – NXT was definitely more “developmental” at this time, and this match showed it. Both these guys had the personalities to excel, but never pans out. They worked hard and did get the crowd invested, which is job #1.
  • Hideo Itami NXT debut promo – Thi sis where he shifts from KENTA to Hideo Itami, , and he cut most of the promo in Japanese. The Ascension would come out and eventually attack, but Itami got the upperhand in the end. This was an insanely promising start to his WWE career. The visual of him sitting in a chair begging them both to get back in the ring was amazing.
  • Bull Dempsey vs. Mojo Rawley – Quick win for Bull Dempsey, who should have been a bigger deal. He’d be a great fit at NXT UK. His theme song is still the most underrated they’ve ever made.
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair successfully defended against Bayley – Bayley, just like everyone, was crazy over at Full Sail. Her “childhood dream” gimmick can only go so far, though. Charlotte Flair was the decided heel here, and showed signs of the greatness she’d achieve while also showing how green she was. Charlotte was absolutely ripped here. Charlotte nailed a terrible looking moonsault that the announce team didn’t know how to sell. Charlotte won with Natural Selection, which may have been an audible after the moonsault debacle as you can hear Bayley call for the spot. It’s amazing what Charlotte has become. Sasha Banks attacked Bayley after,and Charlotte
  • NXT Championship: Adrian Neville successfully defended against Tyson Kidd, Sami Zayn, and Tyler Breeze – One hell of a match, and I remember how great the build was. Breeze won a #1 contender match but had his title match interrupted by Kidd, Kidd and Zayn were eventually here to make it a Fatal 4-Way. I really thought Breeze would win here, but that was really wishful thinking on my part. This match was one-fall rules. Tyson Kidd’s Sharpshooter is criminally underrated. Neville shows heel tendencies here, pulling the referee out of the ring before he can count the three in Zayn’s favor (legal in a 4-way match), Neville would then superkick Zayn on the floor and pin Kidd after a Red Arrow. The story after the match was Zayn’s reaction and dejection, setting up the obvious main event for the next Takeover. I loved the character shift for Neville, winning “by means necessary” and showing signs of the amazing heel we’d see later.

Where are they now:

  • The Ascension – Konnor & Viktor are on Raw, and are basically an afterthought after being repackaged as a ripoff of late 80s/early 90s tag teams like The Road Warriors.
  • Kalisto – Doing very little as a member of the Lucha House Party on Raw, but he’s also a former NXT Tag Team Champion and 2-time United States Champion, along with a former Cruiserweight Champion.
  • Sin Cara – Still wearing that cursed mask, so he’s injured.
  • Baron Corbin – Sucking on the main roster! He’s been a Money In The Bank briefcase holder (he lost his cash in), Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner, and United States Champion. He was also Constable Corbin and the General Manager of Raw. He retired Kurt Angle. And he sucks.
  • CJ Parker – He is likely best known for being Kevin Owens’ first NXT opponent, and busting his nose in the process. He left WWE, and is now back to working as Juice Robinson in ROH and New Japan, where he is the IWGP United States Champion (although you wouldn’t know it by watching their product).
  • Sylvester Lefort – He ended up getting released in early 2016, went to TNA to be part of The Tribunal under his name Tom LaRuffa. He worked there through the end of 2016, before returning to Europe where he remains active to this day.
  • Enzo Amore – Ugh…he went to the main roster with Big Cass (on Raw) and Carmella (on Smackdown), working as a team until they broke up in what was actually a good angle. He eventually showed up on 205 Live, where he drew some good heat, but ended up leaving the company for outside the ring issues. He’s released some rap songs/videos, and made an ill-fated appearance at ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard.
  • Hideo Itami – Such a promising start, he had a good run in NXT that included a NXT Championship shot at Bobby Roode. He went to 205 Live, but failed to become Cruiserweight Champion. He eventually requested his release and returned home to Japan.
  • Bull Dempsey – He had a small NXT run before being released, and works as Bull James on the independents, mostly in the Northeast United States.
  • Bayley – She’d have a better run later with Sasha Banks, before moving to the main roster and holding the Raw Women’s Championship. She won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship with Sasha Banks, and is not on Smackdown.
  • Charlotte Flair – Just main evented WrestleMania, is an 8-time Women’s Champion, and is one of the very best performers of either gender on the main roster.
  • Sami Zayn – A mid-card player on the main roster, just recently returned from injury and is doing some great character work on Raw. Also (briefly) held the NXT Championship but was just the transitional champion from Neville to Kevin Owens.
  • Tyler Breeze – Moved to the main roster too soon, found some critical success with Fandago as the Fashion Police, has floundered during Fandango’s injury recovery, is back in NXT and working a program with Velveteen Dream.
  • Tyson Kidd – Career cut short by injury after holding tag team gold, and now works as a producer behind the scenes.
  • Neville – Had a respectable main roster run before taking over (pun intended) WWE 205 Live. That alignment led to his eventual downfall when he didn’t want to put Enzo Amore over strong after being pushed to the kickoff in his match with Austin Aries. He’s currently preparing to face Adam Page at All Elite Wrestling’s Double Or Nothing event.

Overall Impression

Renee young was better than I remember on commentary here. Overall this was a good show that, outside of the main event, wouldn’t hold up against the Takeover events of the past few years. But the foundation was being laid, and this should be evaluated as such. The main event was spectacular, and this was a rare Takeover with six matches. Those, plus two other in-ring segments, still went just under two hours. All four members of the main event wrestled on the Raw before this, and that decision, along with this match, can really be credited with the early rise in populary of NXT.

One additional thing that’s quite evident in watching these events, is now much easier it is for the talent to stay in perfect shape in NXT as they’re spending less time on the road. You can see the differences in Charlotte, Bayley, Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze, and others.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Taking Over: Greg DeMarco’s Look at WWE NXT Takeover I (5/24/14)

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WWE NXT Takeover Neville Tyson Kidd

Greg DeMarco takes a look back at the first NXT Takeover in the first edition of “Taking Over” as we march towards WWE NXT Takeover XXV!

WWE NXT Takeover is turning 25 on June 1! Well, sort of… On June 1, WWE NXT will present the 25th Takeover event, a stand-alone show from Connecticut–which I wouldn’t call the heart of WWE, but the brain. I am taking a look back at the first 24 to see just how far we’ve come. Join me for “Taking Over,” my look back at the first 24 Takeover events.

NXT Takeover
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentary Team: Tom Phillips, William Regal, and Byron Saxton

  • Adam Rose beat Camacho – A solid opener, which was more about furthering the character of Adam Rose and the Rosebuds. Notable Rosebuds on this night included Ryan Katz (currently Creative Producer for WWE/NXT), Becky Lynch (just main evented WrestleMania), Carmella (she’s F A B U L O U S, and is a former Smackdown Women’s Champion), and Braun Strowman (he’s in the Andre The Giant role).
  • NXT Tag Team Championship: The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) successfully defend against Kalisto & El Local – This was  a step above a glorified squash. The world likely won’t remember them this way, but The Ascension were total bad asses in NXT.
  • NXT Championship #1 Contender: Tyler Breeze beat Sami Zayn – Both guys were on their game here. Zayn of course went on to be NXT Champion and Breeze was called up to NXT too soon. Zayn would lose this match to Breeze, but both men would compete for the NXT Championship at the next Takeover. The crowd was insanely into this match, and it build beautifully to the finish. the finish, by the way, was amazing as Breeze blocked the Helluva Kick but inadvertently low-blows Sami in the process. One Beauty Shot later and Tyler Breeze is the #1 contender to the NXT Championship.
  • Rusev promo, with Lana, that’s interrupted by Mojo Rawley – I am pretty sure this is where Rusev’s theme introduction comes from. Mojo wasn’t ready yet, but he still owned his character…which at this point was a bargain basement “hype” John Cena. Rusev was already looking like the man.
  • Vacant NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair beat Natalya – Ric Flair accompanied Charlotte to the ring, who wasn’t taking the “Flair” name yet. Natalya was accompanied by Bret Hart because, well, symmetry. Charlotte was obviously green here, and didn’t have nearly the work done she has now. Natalya is actually in better physical condition now, five years later. The match served as a vehicle to get the NXT Women’s Championship onto Charlotte, and it served that purpose. Charlotte Flair would obviously grow into her role and is not one of the best performers on the main roster.
  • NXT Championship: Adrian Neville successfully defended against Tyson Kidd – Given their leadership roles on the main roster today, it’s no surprise that Natalya and Tyson Kidd were a part of the early success of NXT. The crowd was hot for this match, and both men delivered. Of note: before Neville hits the Red Arrow on Tyson, Tom Phillips notes that Kidd is in the drop zone. Take that, Michael Cole!

Where are they now:

  • Adam Rose – About to wrestle his last match, ever, against Bull James.
  • Camacho – One half of the Guerrillas Of Destiny as Tanga Loa, along with his adoptive brother Tama Tonga, running wild in Bullet Club and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • The Ascension – Konnor & Viktor are on Raw, and are basically an afterthought after being repackaged as a ripoff of late 80s/early 90s tag teams like The Road Warriors.
  • Kalisto – Doing very little as a member of the Lucha House Party on Raw, but he’s also a former NXT Tag Team Champion and 2-time United States Champion, along with a former Cruiserweight Champion.
  • El Local – The former Ricardo Rodriguez is no longer with the company, and is working the California independents.
  • Sami Zayn – A mid-card player on the main roster, just recently returned from injury and is doing some great character work on Raw. Also (briefly) held the NXT Championship but was just the transitional champion from Neville to Kevin Owens.
  • Tyler Breeze – Moved to the main roster too soon, found some critical success with Fandago as the Fashion Police, has floundered during Fandango’s injury recovery, is back in NXT and working a program with Velveteen Dream.
  • Rusev & Lana – Multiple time United States Champion, feuds with John Cena and AJ Styles just to name a few, and sadly not a lead heel on either brand like they should be. They’re also not supporting Russia, like, at all.
  • Mojo Rawley – Moved up in the first draft of the modern era, teamed with Zack Ryder before breaking up, cut a series of intriguing mirror promos, but hasn’t really done much. He did win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33, though.
  • Charlotte Flair – Just main evented WrestleMania, is an 8-time Women’s Champion, and is one of the very best performers of either gender on the main roster.
  • Natalya – Back on the main roster and serves as the veteran presence, and delivers in a big way nearly every time out.
  • Tyson Kidd – Career cut short by injury after holding tag team gold, and now works as a producer behind the scenes.
  • Neville – Had a respectable main roster run before taking over (pun intended) WWE 205 Live. That alignment led to his eventual downfall when he didn’t want to put Enzo Amore over strong after being pushed to the kickoff in his match with Austin Aries. He’s currently preparing to face Adam Page at All Elite Wrestling’s Double Or Nothing event.

Overall Impression of WWE NXT Takeover I

For starters, I love hearing William Regal on commentary–he adds so much. Nigel McGuinness should be playing this exact role. The commentary team also had longer spells where they let the action speak for itself, and it really worked (especially in the main event). Byron Saxton is also quite underrated as he was money tonight. Overall, this was a really good that followed the NXT Takeover 5-match format. The first two matches weren’t really in doubt, but things really kicked up for the last three. Great show.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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